It is beginning to look like Donald Trump was never really a presidential candidate.  He’s already making excuses for why he will lose.  And this talk of a possible “Trump TV” venture makes it appear that his campaign was really a business strategy.  His supporters will be a  ready-made audience, simply another business opportunity.  Trump wants everyone to be focused on him all the time.  What better way than running for president?

Michael Hart, West Ridge

SEND LETTERS TO: Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Beware of ‘just in case’ pills

It’s so common. You have a few extra pills left over from a prescription and keep them on hand “just in case” you need them again.

While it may seem practical, it can be extremely dangerous.

Leftover medications, especially opioid painkillers, are an easy target for abuse. The majority of teens abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends – often right out of the home medicine cabinet.

In fact, ordinary expired or unused prescriptions you may have at home are helping fuel an epidemic that kills nearly 80 Americans a day.

How do you get rid of these medications safely? Start by calling your police department or pharmacy – many are licensed collectors authorized to receive and dispose of these medications safely.

In fact, there’s no better time to start than this weekend. This Saturday, October 22, is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois are hosting special medication disposal events. If you don’t have time to make a call, just type “DEA drug take back” into your web browser to pull up a page that allows you to search for participating agencies.

Illinois is the nation’s fourth largest collector of unused medications with 24 tons of unwanted medicines collected at the last DEA Take-Back event alone. Look out Texas, California and Wisconsin – let’s see if we can finish at No. 1

Thomas M. Anderson, MD
President, Illinois State Medical Society

Vote ‘no’ on Lockbox Amendment

On November 8, the Illinois electorate will be asked to vote on a proposed amendment to our state’s constitution. Commonly called the Lockbox Amendment, the law would put any revenues generated by transportation-related activities in a figurative lockbox and prohibit the state and its local governments from using these funds for other purposes.

Keeping Illinois roads, highways and bridges in safe working order is a reasonable, important objective. However, it is a goal that can and should be accomplished through a solution to the state’s underlying financial crisis, not through the extraordinary step of amending the state constitution.

Illinois has gone more than 15 months without a comprehensive, balanced budget. The state is on track this year to spend billions of dollars more than it has available, while only partially funding many core areas of government such as higher education and social services. It makes little public policy sense to hamstring lawmakers given this fiscal reality. Further, to imply that transportation should be a priority by default over critical services like healthcare, education or those for the elderly, poor or developmentally disabled is objectionable.

The amendment will also disrupt many of Illinois’ distressed local governments that use their vehicle sticker and other fees to fund general operations—salaries, programming, equipment and the like. The state should not tie the hands of municipalities to achieve a goal that is focused on state spending.

Instead, those residents thinking about voting in favor of the amendment should join the undersigned in demanding that lawmakers formulate a realistic multi-year plan to balance the budget and put Illinois back on sound financial footing. It will be painful, and it will require compromise and shared sacrifice from all of us. But it is a much more equitable and sustainable solution than irrevocably committing the State of Illinois to one exclusive spending priority.

Andy Shaw
Better Government Association

Laurence Msall
Civic Federation

Evelyn Diaz
Heartland Alliance

Judith Gethner
Illinois Partnership for Human Service

John Bouman
Shriver Center

Carol Portman
Taxpayers Federation of Illinois